Heilandt Roastery

Heilandt Coffee: Going cashless with SumUp

How the push of a pandemic helped brew success for this coffee business

Heilandt Kaffeemanufaktur took Cologne’s coffee scene by storm over a decade ago, and has been committed to fair, sustainable, and delicious coffee ever since. Today, Heilandt has four coffee shops in Cologne, one being situated in its very own coffee roastery. They even run a “coffee school”, where those interested can brush up on their practical and theoretical coffee knowledge. 

One of Heilandt’s main goals has always been to ensure that the coffee farmers involved in its business model, along with their produce, are treated with the utmost respect and appreciation. This goal has seen Heilandt reach incredible heights when it comes to sustainable coffee, as they are now one of the very few coffee roasting companies in Germany to purchase all of their ‘green’ coffees exclusively through direct trade. This is one of many initiatives that set Heilandt apart in an ever-crowded industry.

Adapting to new normals

When the pandemic hit, business closures meant Heilandt lost a huge chunk of its customer base. Workers from nearby offices and gastronomy businesses were staying home, meaning the coffee chain’s regular customers were no longer regular. 

"Managing the company under constantly changing conditions was probably the biggest challenge of the last 15 months. Basically, we constantly felt like we were juggling plates, or rather, cups.”

Fortunately, Heilandt managed to make up for a substantial amount of their losses by levelling up their online business. Heilandt’s customers were keen to enjoy their favourite coffee at home, and so orders for their products came flooding in. 

The Heilandt team took every week as it came during lockdown periods, making sure they were able to adapt to the new rules and regulations that COVID-19 brought about. Now that they are slowly getting back to normal in terms of meeting their customers in person again, there is definitely hope on the horizon.

Cashless coffee with SumUp

Heilandt always intended on making its coffee business completely cashless, but the pandemic gave them the push to make it happen as soon as possible. To help stop the spread of the virus, only accepting cashless payments was encouraged by health officials, so this put the wheels in motion for Heilandt’s cashless coffee shops. 

The SumUp Air Card Reader is used at each of Heilandt’s locations to accept cashless payments from their customers. This means customers can always pay with a tap of their phone or card, meaning Heilandt never misses a sale and its employees stay safe. If there are ever any technical issues, the SumUp support team is always on hand to help. 

“We get the impression that SumUp is interested in the concerns of its customers and for that reason is always developing its products further.”

Although it may take some time for customers to get used to cashless-only payments, Heilandt says that the positive outcomes of this business decision definitely outweigh the negatives. Just one example is how one of its coffee branches in Sülz had encountered eight attempted break-ins within three years before going cashless. One attempt was successful resulting in huge cash losses. Since making the switch, there have been no further attempts.

Ultimately, going cashless has saved Heilandt time as well as established more efficient and polished day-to-day operations. 

"The last 15 months have clearly shown us that you have to dare to take more calculable risks. There was naturally some resistance to the introduction of exclusively cashless payments. There were, and still are, negative customer reactions. But what we have gained in efficiency and in time for the customer is disproportionate.”

If you’re interested in bringing simple, cashless payments to your business, get in touch with our Sales team below.

Aaron Nevin